Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walker

imagesThe Italian Riviera, Hollywood, the 60’s and romance…what’s not to love?

I fell in love with this book from the first paragraph…

‘The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly—in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier. She wavered a moment in the boat’s stern, then extended a slender hand to grip the mahogany railing; with the other, she pressed a wide-brimmed hat against her head. All around her, shards of sunlight broke on the flickering waves.’

Pasquale Tursi owns a hotel on a desolate (fictitious) island clamped to the rear of the stunning Cinque Terre. Left to look after the crumbling hotel after his father’s death, the clings to the idea of American movie stars visiting his intimate (read: tiny) island, and works to finish creating the beach and tennis court on the cliffs which he is certain will bring them there. In his spare time, he tries to convince the owners of the Cinque Terre to include his little dot into their fold – after all, Sei Terre is so much easier on the tongue, no?

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